Art@Site Virginio Ferrari Dialogo

Virginio Ferrari



Albert Pick Hall
Virginio Ferrari is an Italian sculptor, born in Verona and based in Chicago from the middle of the 1960s. He has had more than 50 solo exhibitions and participated in more than 150 group shows. Ferrari Studios, a site for both Virginio and his son Marco, is at 412 S. Wells, 3rd Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60607.
His sculpture Dialogo, in front of Pick Hall at 5828 South University Avenue on the University of Chicago is famous on campus because of the shadow it casts at noon each May Day. The shadow clearly shows a sickle very similar to that found in the flag of the former Soviet Union. It also shows a second object which student legend claims is a hammer. The object is clearly in the proper position to be a hammer from the communist flag and intersects the sickle at the correct place. However, the shape of the head of the hammer differs somewhat from that of the flag.
Each year, a crowd of several dozen curious bystanders gathers to observe the formation of the shadow around noon. Ferrari himself has denied that he intended his sculpture to cast such a shadow.
Ferrari says:"What I want to call to mind in this sculpture are the four corners of the world. Three of the four forms emerge from strong, geometric elements, representing the diversity, pain, and depression in the life on any continent. They rise up slowly and become soft and delicate; two of the forms almost touch in the center in a caressing manner. The third, almost a circle, hovers over the two, to suggest protection and security for the life of tomorrow. The fourth form represents a big wave, symbolic of the water that surrounds and unites all the continents.